from Messrs. Beyer, Peacock & Co., Ltd., during 1914 and delivered
after the Great War in 1919 were three 2’ gauge NG/G11 articulated
Garratt steam locomotives, numbered 51, 52 and 53 respectively.
were erected at the Uitenhage workshops and, after trials in May 1920 on
the Avontuur line, two were placed in service on the Stuartstown ( Ixopo)
branch line in Natal.
William Hoy, General Manager, South African Railways & Harbours, in
his report for 1921-22, recorded : “ The narrow gauge Garratt engines,
placed in service on the Stuartstown branch, are most economical and have
reduced train mileage and trainsmen’s hours. Their introduction has also
effected a saving of one engine and train crew.”
further order was placed for two similar locomotives, No’s 54 and 55,
which were supplied by Messrs. Beyer, Peacock & Co. These engines were
fitted with superheater boilers and piston valves.
were erected in the Durban workshops during April, 1925. The total weight
of the engine in full working order was 48 tons 4 ¾ cwts.”
locomotives were used mostly in Natal on the various branch lines.
55 remained plinthed at Weenen, after the Estcourt to Weenen line’s
closure, and is at present at the local recreation club grounds.
is intended that this locomotive will be restored to working order at
Umgeni Steam Railway’s Masons Mill locomotive depot.
will thereafter be placed in service on the preserved Ixopo to Madonela
branchline being operated by Paton’s Country Narrow Gauge Railway.
In cases where locomotives of exceptional tractive force are required and
particularly where the track, bridges and curvatures do not allow
development of existing designs due to axle-load limitations, the number
of coupled wheels required
demands articulated types.
Garratt locomotive has two sets of frames and wheel arrangements with one
boiler. In this way the number of coupled wheels can be doubled and
correspondingly high tractive effort developed.
boiler is carried in a cradle suspended on pivot centers attached to the
frames each of which is free to align itself to track curvature.
use of these locomotives enables the capacity of a line to be
approximately doubled without strengthening the track, bridges and
culverts, or improving the curvature.
Garratt runs equally well in either direction.”
Bore x Stroke.
10 ¾ “ x 16”
Pressure lb/sq. in.
1 ¾ in. diam.
internal diameter. (*)
Effort. (75%) B.P. 15876
Weight (Working Order)
Length over Couplers.
Area sq. ft.
2 ½ tons of coal.
Data relates to 51, 52 & 53.
Locomotive in South Africa
T. J. Espitalier & W. A. J. Day.
of the South African Railways.
Leith Paxton & David Bourne.
of Southern Africa.
Guide 1993 Edition.
J. N. Middleton.